Thursday, September 1, 2011

The General Mills "Cocoon" spot for kids' fruit snacks--creepy

Whoa. What was Saatchi & Saatchi in New York  thinking when they created this creepy, wrong-for-the-brand tv spot for fruit snacks?! What was the General Mills Brand Manager thinking?! 

I am all for doing attention-getting work. You have to. And anything aimed at kids or items kids will have a say-so in their mom purchasing for them needs to be somewhat "cool" to the kids. But, in my opinion, this spot crosses a line. It isn't smart strategically for the brand. 

General Mills has an upstanding, wholesome brand image and personality. Just look at their website. And this spot doesn't come close to fitting in. It's a disconnect. You can have a fun, engaging spot without going outside your brand parameters.

To boot, the spot has so much creepiness with the whole "You taste great" conversation between 2 young boys that it is alarming. I'd be willing to bet some young, male creatives came up with this spot and then they somehow talked their CD into it because it could "win an award" and then the CD got all misty-eyed and somehow sold it to the AE, who sold it to the, how, how?!? Why, why, why?!?

It must be in the air for big brands to be doing stupid things, too, because JC Penneny just did a HUGE no-no by putting out some "sassy" girl tshirts that had to be yanked. 

Check out a few of the tweets JCP received concerning the shirts: 
"Worst tee ever," "too stupid for words," "gross" and "repugnant"

Again, these big companies DO NOT own their brands. Their customers do. And in this case, moms (women, empowered women, women who have had enough of inequality for women) are the brand owner. Duh JCP. That is marketing 101. What were you thinking?

Or did you have your brothers do your "homework" for you? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Levi's "Go Forth" campaign is awash with bravado and hope

But is it art for art's sake? As an ad creative, I look at the Walt Whitman original recording tv here and the Bukowski poem-driven tv here and the print and swell with what I wish had been my idea. The copy is moving, thanks to poems by Whitman, Bukowski and others. The concept by Wieden & Kennedy is empowerment. Talking to the youth of our day--those who are mildly lost and not so mildly miffed at the state of affairs all over the world. It plays on that bittersweet emotional connection of love/hate.

But I find it all a bit too artistic, over the edge and unrealistic for a brand of jeans to try to tag onto the brilliant, thought-provoking, moving language of such poetic masters. 

I guess I am simply torn. As this is a message we all need to hear in these politically vile times, yet, I don't think it can be done via an ad campaign from Levi's. I watched the TV and felt myself agreeing and getting drawn in and then thought, what the?! Levi's, really? Levi's is going to lead the world with this call to action?! Too big. Too political. Too, too, needed to come from someone other than a company trying to sell jeans for God's sake.

But I do love it as art. So Go Forth as art!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Utah State Fair Advertising: One Freaky Television Spot

A very odd ad for the Utah State Fair
Who likes to ever see the animal your food comes from? Not I. In this freakishly odd TV spot for the UTAH STATE FAIR (Click link to view) in 2010, that's what we get. Wonder how well it worked for them. What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pure Genius Ad: 2011 Cannes Print Ad Winner--Samsonite Heaven or Hell

It's always an exciting time of year for us creatives when Cannes winners are announced. This is the chosen Grand Prix print winner from JWT SHANGHAI, CHINA.

Not only is it art, (they have beautifully executed this imagery) but they have made you want to look at this ad for more than a passing glance of time. There is so much to look at, and yet the message is so simple and easy to understand. They also made this ad a bottom spread, thus making it stand out even more. This format added to the sense of Heaven and Hell. Visually grounding it, in manner of speaking. Pure genius.

I applaud them and hope all marketeers reading this will see the importance of taking risks, understanding that ads today need to be more than price and a starburst, and recognizing great ideas when they are presented.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Smart Ad Campaign with Transparency and Approachableness--Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip, that odd, somewhere-between-mayo-and-salad-dressing spreadable goop, has done a very smart thing with its new ad campaign.

They let people speak their minds about why they either love it or hate it. They also recruited some "famous" people to speak their minds, thus helping get us all to check out the campaign and see which celeb likes or hates the product and why. (Pauley D from Jersey Shore hates it, by the way.)

Miracle Whip understands that it has a polarizing product and they embraced that fact. By letting people vote on whether they hate it or love it and leave comments, they have made the brand approachable, honest and likable.

They know they won't win over their haters, so by letting those haters speak up, they lose nothing, but they do gain the vehement loyalty of their users. Genius! People love to take sides and this cements the users in their loyalty and gets them to advocate openly for the product.

I, for one, despise Miracle Whip, but I now LIKE the brand.

Check out the YouTube Page with the campaign.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The testimonial ad campaign that works--for healthcare, no less

Wow, I don't know about you, but clients always like to fall back on the good ol testimonial campaign, and as a creative I always shiver at the mention. I buck it. I hem and haw. Ug.

Yes, they can work, but gosh darn it, they're so lame. UNLESS...

This ad was 1 in a campaign for NY Presbyterian Hospital done by Munn Rabot, New York. This team must've decided it was time to say, "NO MORE LAME TESTIMONIALS." And worked hard to uncover this amazing story that tells honestly, simply and with power. If I ever need to go to the hospital, I want his doctor and this facility.

If it works on an ad gal, imagine how it's working on everyone else.
You can't do good testimonials that reach out and grab someone without stories that connect to our human needs--in this case, to be truly cared for. Doctors are supposed to do their job, so another story about a not-so extraordinary effort just doesn't cut it. But this effort was out of the realm of everyday duty. I'm hooked. Kudos!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The 5 Rules of Adaptive Marketing

Marketers today are challenged with the ever-changing landscape of marketing. Technology and new media have exploded the tried and true mechanisms we all have counted on for so long. 

Enter Adaptive Marketing. But what exactly is AM?
To quote a former colleague who is now with Forrester Research, Chris Stutzman, Adaptice Marketing is  "a flexible approach in which marketers respond quickly to their environment to align consumer and brand goals and maximize return on brand equity."   
The biggest challenge you will face in becoming an adaptive marketer is overcoming these 5 bad habits: 
  • complacency, 
  • conformity, 
  • analysis paralysis, 
  • hands-off management, and 
  • silos of knowledge.  
Instead, follow these new rules of engagement and be a smart, leading-edge Adaptive Marketer, running your organization with successful practices that work in today's environment.

(Click chart to enlarge)
Source: Chris Stutzman, Forrester Research, November 17, 2010.